Putin moves a step closer to becoming ‘President for life’: Russian MPs approve law that paves the way for Kremlin strongman to stay in power until 2036
- The lower house of Russia’s parliament passed package of new legislation
- One new law passed would see Putin permitted to remain in office until 2036
- Putin was due to leave office in 2024 but won backing to amend the constitution
- He can sign the new legislation into law once the upper house pass the package
Vladimir Putin moved a step closer to becoming ‘president for life’ today as Russian MPs approved a law that would let him stay in power until 2036.
Putin, 68, was due to be term-limited out of office in 2024 but last year won public backing to amend Russia’s constitution and pave the way for two more terms.
The necessary legislation has now passed the lower house of Russia’s parliament and only needs to get through the upper chamber before Putin can sign it into law.
The Kremlin strongman, who has already been in power for more than 20 years, would be eligible for two-more six year terms that would take him to 2036.
Vladimir Putin (pictured) moved a step closer to becoming ‘president for life’ today as Russian MPs approved a law that would let him stay in power until 2036
Putin won his first presidential election in 2000 after taking over as acting president when Boris Yeltsin resigned on the final day of the 20th century.
He won another term in 2004, before moving to the prime minister’s office in 2008 while Dmitry Medvedev held the fort as president.
Putin and Medvedev then swapped jobs in 2012, with Putin returning to the presidency for a six-year term.
He won a fourth term in 2018, but would have been ineligible in 2024 under a constitutional provision banning more than two consecutive terms.
After years of speculation about how Putin might get around the ‘2024 problem’, lawmakers proposed last year that his personal term-limit clock be reset to zero.
The proposal was put to a referendum in a package of measures alongside populist economic reforms and socially conservative gestures backed by the Kremlin.
These included enshrining the country’s ‘faith in God’ in one clause of the constitution while introducing another which effectively banned gay marriage.
Putin won the referendum by a wide margin – nearly 78 per cent voted in favour – after voters cast their ballots over the space of a week in June and July to limit the risk of coronavirus.
The legislation is set to be considered by the upper house later this month and, if approved, will be signed into law by Putin
But there were hundreds of complaints of violations including people voting more than once and allegations that employers had pressured their staff to vote, according to Golos, an independent election monitor.
Kremlin opponents criticised the initiative at the time, calling it a pretext to allow Putin to become ‘president for life’.
Putin has not confirmed whether he intends to run again in 2024, but would be eligible for two more six-year terms if the bill passes.
Having now passed the Russian parliament’s lower house, the bill is expected to be put before the upper house.
Consideration of the legislation is set to take place later this month and, should it be approved, will be signed into law by Putin.
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